Maple Leafs' Fully Recovered Beauchemin Is a God-Send to Team Canada

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 10:  Francois Beauchemin #23 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center on April 10, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Stars 4-3 in a shootout.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

I'm trying to think of the last Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman to play for Team Canada at the Olympics, or even attend an orientation camp.  Well, now having thought about it, briefly, and the only name that comes to mind ends in McCabe, I've reasoned there have only been several games and likely no player from the Leafs has been invited to play in the Winter Olympics... until Francois Beauchemin.

You'll have to admit Beauchemin must be considered pretty good by someone who really knows hockey, especially after reading these few paragraphs, via Canadian Press, discussing "a few head-scratchers":

He (Lucic) and players such as St. Louis forward Andy McDonald and defencemen Stephane Robidas of the Dallas Stars and Francois Beauchemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs are down the list of names people would conjure when asked who they think will play in the Olympics.

Beauchemin, from Sorel, Que., has no previous international experience, although he won a Stanley Cup in 2007 playing alongside Canadian team stalwarts Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger in Anaheim.

"To be among the 16 defencemen invited, I'm flattered," Beauchemin said. "I was pretty surprised.  I didn't expect it because I didn't play much this year.

"I had knee surgery back in November and only played 20 games this season.  It's going to be a learning experience since I've never played with Team Canada anywhere."